Trick ‘R Treat Collector’s Edition Blu Ray Review (Scream Factory)
Trick ‘r Treat is a 2007 horror anthology film written & directed by Michael Dougherty (Krampus & Godzilla: King of the Monsters). Michael Dougherty was mainly known as a screenwriter for X-Men 2, Superman Returns, & Urban Legends: Bloody Mary before this. This was produced by filmmaker Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-Men franchise, House, & Legion). Season’s Greetings is the original animated short that inspired the film. It sat on the shelves for 2 years at Warner Bros after being delayed numerous times & it was eventually released direct to video instead of getting a huge theatrical run like they originally planned. A sequel has been announced for this!!!!
Emma (played by: Leslie Bibb from Iron Man 1/2, Tag, Law Abiding Citizen, & Talladega Nights) & her husband Henry (played by: Tahmoh Penikett from Man of Steel, Battlestar Galactica, & Dollhouse) return home after a disastrous night. Emma tears down the seasonal decorations before the night’s end & she gets an unexpected surprise. Henry makes a gruesome discovery hours later. Charlie (played by: Brett Kelly from Bad Santa 1/2, The Sandlot 2, & Slap Shot 3) is going around smashing everyone’s jack o’ lanterns & taking too much candy from houses while trick or treating. Principal Steven Wilkins (played by: Dylan Baker from Spider-Man 2/3, Fido, The Cell, & Road to Perdition) catches the kid causing mayhem on the streets & gives him a lesson that he will never forget! A group of trick or treaters which include Macy (played by: Britt McKillip from Dead Like Me & Frequency), Sara( played by: Isabelle Deluce from The Ron Clark Story), Chip (played by: Alberto Ghisi from Final Destination 3), Schrader (played by: Jean-Luc Bilodeau from Baby Daddy, LOL, Piranha 3DD, & Kyle XY), & Rhonda (played by: Samm Todd from 10,000 Hours) take a trip after hearing the urban legend of the Halloween School Bus Massacre. Their curiosity turns out to be a huge mistake when they get more than they bargained for. Laurie (played by: Anna Paquin from True Blood, X-Men franchise, The Piano, & Scream 4), her sister Danielle (played by: Lauren Lee Smith from Mutant X, The L Word, The Shape of Water, & Pathology), Maria (played by: Rochelle Aytes from White Chicks, The Forgotten, & Mistresses) & Janet (played by: Moneca Delain from Lost Boys: The Tribe) are all looking for dates for Halloween. Laurie hasn’t found one yet & she wants her first time to be special so she’s picky about her choice. Old man Kreeg (played by: Brian Cox from Manhunter, X-Men 2, Super Troopers 1/2, & Braveheart) is very unlikable & enjoys scaring kids away from his place. Karma is finally coming around when he meets the mysterious Sam (played by: Quinn Lord from The Man in the High Castle, Deadman Standing, & In their Skin). Can he survive this night of terror or is it time for some payback?
Trick ‘r Treat is definitely the best horror anthology made in recent years. The nonlinear narrative gives it a completely different vibe compared to the others that you have seen in the past. Each story is very strong here, they all bring something unique to the table & a few of them could have easily been a full length feature. It’s hard to pick a favorite segment because they are all quality material. It has a little something for everyone. It’s full of a great variety of characters & the cast is excellent in this. The role of Sam has become an icon in the horror community. It’s well written & the music adds to the atmosphere. It’s a must watch for Halloween & it should be on everyone’s viewing list for October. It’s one of those rare productions that gets better with each viewing so the replay value is very high with this feature.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Scream Factory! This 1080p (2.40:1) transfer is from a brand new 2K remaster supervised & approved by director Michael Dougherty. The biggest change here is the color timing, it’s different from the original Warner Bros release from 2009. It’s a slight upgrade from that but that blu ray already looked really good so don’t expect any mind blowing results from this. It has two audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 on the disc. It sounds great, the dialogue is very clean & it elevates all the crazy moments. The score & soundtrack has a nice boost to them. The original release didn’t have the 2.0 track so that’s a great addition here. It also has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Scream Factory on this Collector’s Edition! “Audio Commentary” with writer/director Michael Dougherty, concept artist Breehn Burns, storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins, & composer Douglas Pipes. They talk about the pre-production & locations used for the film. They mention they used midgets at night for the children because they had hour restrictions. They chat about the cast. They say they couldn’t use brand names for the candies so they did their own labels for them. They joke about wanting to make fake trailers for this but getting shot down by the studio. They mention alternate versions & sounds considered for certain scenes. They bring up some inspirations for this. They make fun of people not getting the shooting style of this & confusing test audiences. They said they played pranks on the actors on the set. They mention changing an ending to one of the stories because it was already done a few times before. They chat about the music & some changes they made from the original version. They say Brian Cox wanted his character to look like director John Carpenter for this. They mention the various Sam toys made at the time. This was a fun track with lots of information & stories. “Tales of Folklore & Fright: Creating Trick R Treat” is a little over 16 minutes, it has interviews with writer/director Michael Dougherty, concept artist Breehn Burns, & storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins. Michael Dougherty talks about the original animated short inspiring the film. He talks about Halloween & what the holiday means to him. He says he thought it needed a mascot & that’s what Sam is. He chats about doing animation but he wanted to expand past that. He brings up that he took existing short stories that he wrote in college & made a full length feature after adding new ones to the mix. He mentions the anthologies that inspired him to do this. He tells the story on how the concept became a reality.
He brings up the pre-production process of Trick R Treat. Breehn Burns & Simeon Wilkins chat about their work on the production. They talk about their art & creations for the feature. “Tales of Mischief & Mayhem” is almost 20 minute interview with writer/director Michael Dougherty. He goes into great detail about the overall production. He chats about the cast, crew, locations, & the stories for the film. He brings up the characters, the vibe, & the set design for the project. Lots of cool information & fun little stories from the creator of this entertaining world known as Trick R Treat. “Sounds of Shock & Superstition” is a little 11 minutes, it has interviews with writer/director Michael Dougherty & composer Douglas Pipes. Michael Dougherty says he used classic horror scores & soundtracks as his inspiration while putting this together. He says he picked the composer after seeing Monster House. Douglas Pipes chats about how he created the music for the feature. He goes into detail about his process & why he did certain things for the score. They mention the vibe & atmosphere it added to the feature. “Tales of Dread & Despair” is a little over 7 minutes, it has interviews with writer/director Michael Dougherty & Shock Waves own Rob Galluzo. It’s brought up that Trick R Treat never had a proper theatrical run. Warner Bros didn’t really know what to do with the marketing & promotion for it. It had a nice run with a few small screenings that got some amazing feedback & reviews which created a buzz for it. Warner Bros still had no interest in giving it a wide release after that & ended up putting it out direct to video years later. The toys & other merchandise get brought up here. Michael Dougherty says this was the path that was meant to be for it & he’s thankful of the outcome.
“Seasons Greetings” is almost 4 minutes & it’s the project that started it all! This is the original animated short. It has optional audio commentary from writer/director Michael Dougherty. “Trick R Treat: The Lore & Legends of Halloween” is a little over 27 minutes. It’s narrated by actor Brian Cox, it features interviews with various members of the production & others. They talk about the film & their experiences on it including some pranks played on the set. They have some entertaining stories about the production. They talk about the characters especially Sam & the vibe Trick R Treat had. It also goes over the history of Halloween & goes into great detail about the popular holiday. “School Bus FX Comparison” is a little over a minute. A little over 17 minutes of “Additional Scenes” from the film with optional audio commentary from writer/director Michael Dougherty. “Storyboard & Conceptual Artwork Gallery” is a little over 19 minutes. “Behind the Scenes Still Gallery” is a little over 13 minutes. “Comic Book Gallery” is almost 9 minutes. “Fear.Net Shorts” has various shorts & it equals up to around 13 minutes. I don’t remember this being on any previous release for the film. It has the “Trailer” for the feature. All the old extras from the original Warner Bros blu ray have been upgraded from standard to high definition here, they all look much better on this! It also has a slipcover & reversible artwork. This release is LOADED, it’s a must own for any Trick R Treat or horror anthology fan. CHECK IT OUT!!!!